Overcoming obstacles, the Mines and Minerals bill was on Friday passed by Parliament, becoming the second major reform measure to receive the approval of the legislature in the first half of the Budget Session.
The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015, was passed by the Rajya Sabha earlier today and later approved by the Lok Sabha within 20 minutes.
The bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha but was referred to a Select Committee in Rajya Sabha by a united Opposition. After a day of high drama yesterday, the Bill was cleared by the upper house as the government agreed to the amendment recommended by the Select Committee on March 18.
Since Rajya Sabha had made amendments to the bill passed by Lok Sabha, it was sent back to the lower House for a fresh approval.
The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, seeking to hike FDI in insurance sector was the first reform measure passed by Parliament.
Government had promulgated ordinances on insurance and mines and minerals in December last and January, which were converted to bills.
In the upper house all parties, barring Congress and the Left, supported it. JD-U members walked out before the voting saying they did not want to be part of the procedure.
The Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha by 117 members voting in favour and 69 against it, after Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar moved it for passage.
The House earlier saw a lot of discussion on a motion moved by P Rajeeve of CPI(M), which sought that the measure be re-sent to the Select Committee as it had not taken the views of all stakeholders including state governments.
This amendment was voted out after a division, with parties like TMC, NCP, SP, BSP, BJD, AIADMK, DMK and JMM, besides allies Shiv Sena and SAD supporting the government.
The rejection of the motion by 112 votes against and 68 in favour, paved the way for the House to take up the Bill for voting.
Some members also pointed out that the bill could fail the legal test and get struck down by courts as it sought to impinge on the rights of states, which were not consulted by the Select Committee looking into the bill.
The Select Committee to which the bill was referred to by the Rajya Sabha brought in one amendment in it and passed it.